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Grottos Day Use Area

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Designer Wall 
Game Wall 
Goal Post Boulders  
Gollum's Cave 
Ice Caves, The 
Nude Buttress 

Grottos Day Use Area  

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Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Steven Lucarelli on Jun 30, 2008
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Dave Bacon on Escher's Staircase.


This area offers a good selection of sport, mixed and trad routes on great rock. The walls generally face southwest providing good morning shade but get a lot of sun in the afternoon. And like most areas on Independence Pass, crowds shouldn't be an issue especially since the approach is steep and the Grotto Wall is just up the road.

Getting There 

From Aspen head up the pass and look for the "Grottos Day Use Area" sign. This area is located past mile marker 50 and there is a gravel parking lot on the right. The trail is located on the north side of CO Hwy 82 at the "Grottos Day Use Area" sign for west bound traffic. Follow the obvious trail around the east side of a pond until you get to a large scree field. There are some cairns marking a slightly easier path up the scree, but if you lose them just keep going up and you'll end up at the Nude Buttress. The Game Wall and Designer Wall are a little farther up the hill around the left side of Nude Buttress. Expect this approach to take about 20 to 30 minutes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.2 miles from here

50 Total Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Grottos Day Use Area:
Choke Hold   V10-11 8A     Boulder, 20'   Gollum's Cave
Escher's Staircase   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Gollum's Cave
Bilbo Baggins   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Gollum's Cave
The Dragon's Hoard (tenative name)   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Gollum's Cave
My Precioussss   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Gollum's Cave
Master of Reality   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 45'   Gollum's Cave
Browse More Classics in Grottos Day Use Area

Featured Route For Grottos Day Use Area
Jackie Hueftle at the mantle on the first ascent o...

Devet V7-8 7B  CO : Independence Pass : ... : The Ice Caves
This has a high start, depending on the ice level..., awesome rock, and fun moves up to a fin mantle....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

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